PEARL HASLAM REDFORD
Funeral January 7, 1994
Brothers and Sisters, family and friends, it’s an honor and a privilege for me today to officiate and assist the Redford family as we pay our respects to this loving pioneer. I’d like to thank all those that have helped the family, assisted or done acts of kindness to help them in their mourning at this time. It’s greatly appreciated. I’d like to thank those who will be participating in the service today. I pray that the Lord will bless them that they will deliver the message, whatever they’re doing, in a manner which will be pleasing to the Lord and also to the family. I’d like to thank also, the staff at the long term care for the loving attention they provide to those that are confined to that facility. It is greatly appreciated.
The plan of salvation is a beautiful plan instigated by our Father in Heaven and directed through our Savior, Jesus Christ. He has done what no mortal man could do. He rescued each of us from physical and spiritual death. Sister Redford knew his plan. She was one of His chosen servants. She had a very strong testimony of the gospel. I had the privilege on one occasion, while I was visiting with her to ask her about her testimony. We talked for a few minutes. She expressed her love for the Savior, the gospel and her family. That was a special experience for me to feel of her spirit. She had a sweet, simple testimony, but yet a strong conviction. As this service continues, we will find and hear more about her love for the gospel and her family. To all of us and to each of her posterity, in particular, cherish the love that she had for you. Teach your children about this elect lady. In talking with her family, she was an avid keeper of a journal. Take the time to spread that journal around. Copy it, let people know of her life. I know I cherish my ancestors and their journals. She loves each of you and she wants to have an eternal family. I know that she is on the other side working to prepare a place for each of you. The Lord loves each of us. That’s why he gave his Son, a supreme sacrifice, so that we could return to Him. It is through His mercy that each of us have that possibility. I leave this testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
Sister Pearl Haslam Redford, born September 12, 1899 at Leavitt, in the Northwest Territories, passed away January 4, 1994 in Cardston, Alberta Canada. Assisting the family at the registration book is Sister Nola Boehmer. The Organist and accompanist is Sister Erica Burt. Brother John Redford offered a beautiful family prayer. The opening hymn for today’s service, “Our Mountain Home So Dear”, by the quartet of Rod Beezer, Daniel Burt, Mark Easthope and Don Pierson. The invocation will be given by Sister Leola Zemp. The biography will be given by Glyn Redford. The granddaughters have prepared a special number, “Walk Tall You’re a Daughter of God”. Our speaker for today is Brother Paige Boehmer. The closing hymn will be given by Brother Lervae and Joyce Cahoon, “Whispering Hope”. The benediction will be offered by Brother Ronald Leavitt.
The Honorary Pallbearers are Gordon Zemp, Douglas Zemp, Randall Redford, Brent Zemp, Sidney Zemp, Cameron Zemp and Justin Redford.
The Pallbearers are Rodney E. Redford, Robbe D. Redford, Bradley J. Redford, Derek L. Redford, Sean R. Redford and Trent B. Cleverly.
The Interment will follow at the Leavitt Cemetery with a graveside dedicatory prayer being offered by Brother Glyn Redford.
We will now proceed with the service with the opening hymn.
Opening Hymn: “Our Mountain Home So Dear” by Rod Beezer, Daniel Burt, Mark Easthope and Don Pierson
Invocation: Leola Zemp
Biography: Glyn Redford
You know, when I offered to do this, I didn’t think it was going to be much of a problem, then all you people showed up. Pearl Haslam Redford was born to Samuel and Eliza Haslam in Leavitt on September 12, 1899. When she was about 12 years old, her grandfather came up from Wellsville and took the children back with him. He wrote to their parents and told them, “if you want your kids back, come on down and get yourselves sealed in the temple.” So I guess that’s the start of her experiences in the church. She began teaching Primary when she was the age of 14. She has been involved in teaching, in one form or another, until a few years ago when her eyesight prevented her from reading. She was able to teach by memory then. She always taught by the spirit. She seemed to be born to teach. She seemed that that was her purpose here on this earth, was to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
She always had a positive outlook on life, never putting anyone down. She was compassionate and always looking for the good in people. She spent much of her time doing genealogy work. That seemed to be her love. While she was doing that, one of the challenges she had was one of her ancestors by the name of William Steers. He seemed to be very elusive and didn’t want to be found. It hasn’t been very many years ago that it came to her. She saw the image of this person who presented himself as William Steers. On a couple of occasions, each time as he presented himself, he would, what she thought at the time, would salute before he left. It came to her finally that he wasn’t saluting, he was pointing to his hat. All that we could find out about him was that he had died at sea. Everyone assumed that he was in the Navy. They figured because he died at sea, he was a sailor. But then she paid attention to the hat. He wasn’t saluting, he was pointing to it. It was a hat of an army man. So they started looking in the army records and that’s where they found him. Since that time, thousands of names have been opened up for genealogy research and work.
She made the statement at one time that she didn’t want anyone to dwell on any good things that she might have done, because she wanted her blessings in heaven. She cared only about what her Heavenly Father thought. I think right now she needs to care about how I’m going to put this together.
I use to question her dedication to service to others. To me, it seemed like she spent a lot of time away from her home. She’d get us kids started on tasks, things to do, before she left. She knew just how long it would take to get them done and then she would go away and take care of other responsibilities or commitments she had. I can remember one instance in particular, and I never mentioned this before, I was at home and it was my responsibility to gather the potatoes that had been plowed in the garden. Potatoes, at that time, were a staple item. They were very important and at that time there was a lot of them. I had a team of horses and a wagon going up the row. She had a Relief Society meeting she had to attend to. While I was gathering up the potatoes, I was also supposed to be babysitting my brother, John who was only about 2 or 3 years old at the time. I would throw potatoes on and he would walk along the furrows with me. This one particular time, he slipped and fell under the wheel of the wagon. The dirt was soft so all that was hurt was my feelings and his pride, I guess. He wasn’t hurt in any way. But, then it began to reinforce my feeling that perhaps she should be here taking care of her family. I’ve since learned better. She taught by example, she was a good example.
There were some things that she had given to me 5-6 years ago. One of the items was her biography she had written. So this is what I need to read to you right now. I quote,
“This is my biography as I would like it given. I want to thank Owen for choosing me as his wife, the mother of his children. I do thank my Heavenly Father for sending some of his choicest spirits to us. In trusting us with them. I thank him for the choice spirits each one has married. I thank my Father in Heaven for sending his choice spirits to their homes and their children’s homes and the choice sons and daughters of his that each one has married. I thank my parents for letting me be their daughter and for making it possible for their relationship to go on throughout eternity. I thank my brothers and sisters for accepting me as their sister. I thank Owen’s parents and brothers and sisters for accepting me. I want to thank all my friends for accepting me as a friend. I want to thank the temple workers for all the kindness they have shown to me. I want to thank the people at Temple Villa for letting me be one of them. I do give a big thank you for the staff of Chinook Lodge for being so kind and concerned. Also for the people who live there for their love and concern for each other. I want to thank all those I have had the privilege of teaching in all the organizations, for the things that they have taught me. I want to thank the bishops in the wards where I lived, giving me those opportunities causing me to have to study. I want to thank members where I have lived for accepting me as a member an one of them. I know that God lives and that Jesus Christ, my elder brother died for me to make these things possible for me. I owe him an immense debt of gratitude and the biggest thanks of all. Father in Heaven gave me the gift of life. What I have done with it is my gift to him. I hope it is acceptable.”
Mom was predeceased by her husband Owen, 1 son and 2 daughters, and her immediate family. She left behind one lovely, talented daughter, two witty and debonair sons who married above their station, 20 grandchildren, 46 great grandchildren, 3 handsome brothers, 4 beautiful sisters and many, many wonderful nieces and nephews, and so on.
In closing, I would like to read to you a portion of her testimony that she left for her family. I quote:
“I want my family to know that I know God lives and is very interested in each one of us. I know that Jesus, the Christ, lives and he came to earth and gave his life that each one of us can live. If we are faithful, we will all be together in exaltation in his kingdom together as a family. I know that we must learn to live together here as a family so we will be able to do so over there. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet chose before he came to this earth, to usher in the last dispensation. I have often wondered just how he felt as he translated the Book of Mormon and came to passages that told of himself and his work that he would be doing. I know that every prophet since him has been the man of the hour. I marvel at the fast pace of President Kimball, but I am sure he has a vast amount of health from Heavenly Father.”
As you can tell, she wrote this when President Kimball was still alive. I leave that same testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Speaker: Paige Boehmer
My brothers and sisters, I deem it a privilege and honor to be asked today to take a moment in the life of this special and lovely lady. As I consider some of the words that Brother Glyn has expressed, this lady didn’t want to have any bouquets given to her because she wanted to receive her rewards in the life hereafter. But, I know that she can testify and attest to the fact that she had received great blessings in this life through her service and her love which she has given. I first became acquainted with the Redford family when I started dating a lovely young lady from Leavitt. From that association I learned to appreciate this family and the spirit that was in their home. The spirit which Pearl tried to emulate throughout her life. There’s a little poem that I think kind of gives a little thought along the things that she did for each of us.
By Lawrence Holtzberry
There’s a comforting thought at the close of the day,
When I’m weary and lonely and sad,
That sort of grips hold of my crusty old heart
And bids it be merry and glad.
It gets in my soul and it drives out the blues,
And finally thrills through and through.
It is just a sweet memory that chants the refrain:
” I’m glad I touch shoulders with you! ”
Did you know you were brave, did you know you were strong?
Did you know there was one leaning hard?
Did you know that I waited and listened and prayed,
And was cheered by your simplest word?
Did you know that I longed for that smile on your face,
For the sound of your voice ringing true?
Did you know I grew stronger and better because
I had merely touched shoulders with you?
I am glad that I live, that I battle and strive
For the place that I know I must fill;
I am thankful for sorrows, I’ll meet with a grin
What fortune may send, good or ill.
I may not have wealth, I may not be great,
But I know I shall always be true,
For I have in my life that courage you gave
When once I rubbed shoulders with you.
I think we can feel of that special spirit that Pearl gave. She lifted those around her, because of her life which she devoted to her family and to her husband. She was a devoted mother. Over the past few years she had spent much of her time in the temple and doing genealogy work. Through all of this she was a great mother.
Now you might ask just what is she, this mother? Well, it is certain that according to today’s wage scale she was worth more than her weight in gold. She was a housekeeper, a cleaning woman, a laundress, a seamstress, a cook, a nutrition expert, a chauffeur, a nurse, a wise shopper, a bargain hunter, a business manager and an executive vice president of one of the busiest and most demanding institutions in this country, her home.
Is this all she does? Oh no, this is merely just the busy work that occupies her hands while her mind and her heart and her soul are intent upon a greater and higher calling. That higher calling of womanhood and motherhood. A sharing in creation, a sharing in nurturing, a sharing in exaltation, as she sews the seed I her children’s soul. That will and large measure determine their harvest in adulthood and in eternity. She’s a teacher, a counselor, an advisor an example. Is there any greater influence for good or evil in human life? Oh, mother, what a grave responsibility that you have. What an infinite opportunity. Security, affection, a deep and unselfish love. These are your first special gifts that you give to those little ones. That no one else can give quite so well as you. And what about the unnumbered things that you teach that no one else can teach quite so well as you. It is from you a child learns love. Love of God, love of the gospel, love of family and of friends. It is at your knee that a child learns prayer. It is your example that teaches thoughtfulness, courtesy, honesty, respect and authority, obedience to laws and to the laws of the land. Yes, mother, God himself has given you a calling. In it’s important, second to none. May he likewise bless you with the strength and the courage with the wisdom and the love to enable you to fill in the fullest your sacred calling here and now and to serve your place as a priestess and queen behind your husband in eternity.
Would not that be this mother that we talk of here? I would think so. I would think that would be the mother that we know. She was that mother because she recognized her role in this life. She recognized where her duty and responsibility are. She knew that because she was a daughter of God.
Some years ago the Young Women organization had a theme given, about 1986 or 87 that I think tells us a little bit about this mother.
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • and Integrity.
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
Sister Pearl was a daughter of God. She knew that, she recognized that and she lived her life in accordance with those values. What are those values? Faith, faith I God the Father and in his son Jesus Christ. She knew that she was actually the daughter of God and as such, recognized her individual value. She strived throughout her life to secure the knowledge that was important to her for her exaltation. She made the right choices and knew that because her choices and decisions, she would be held accountable.
Her good works affected all who knew her. Temple and genealogy and the love for family were many of her good works. Because of her integrity, she kept sacred those covenants which she has made and prepared to receive the blessings of exaltation.
I think that that portrays to us today what Pearl would want to see in this family. What mother is there that would not want to see their sons and daughters actively involved in the gospel of Jesus Christ with a testimony that God lives, with a testimony that the Savior came, that he died, that he suffered, that his atonement is for all. What mother would not want to see her sons and her daughters full of integrity, love for those around them, devoted to service to their fellow men. I think all mothers would, as this mother wanted. Just as she portrayed by her actions.
Sometime ago there was a mission President who was being released. They gathered together at a small conference. The mission President related a little story. He had served well in the capacity he had. But, it was a trying time. The years had shown on him and he was weary and tired from the service that he had given. But, he spoke of great love and the assurance that those things which he had been called to do were important. One time as he was returning from a conference, he contemplated his service that he had given. He wanted to have a confirmation from our Father in Heaven that the service he was rendering at the time and that he had given was all that he could have done. It weighed heavy on him. He wanted to know that the Lord was satisfied with his work. He said it felt like the Lord placed a hand on his shoulder and he said this, “My son, you have done all that I have commanded you to do. Return to your home in peace. You have been faithful and I am pleased with your labors.” Could not this be said of Pearl? I think so.
Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.
Brothers and sisters, I bear testimony that God lives and that he hears us. That he hears us. That he answers our prayers. That we were with him in the pre-existence. That we came here as spirit children of His to a loving, caring, understanding family. I bear witness that the Savior also came. Even the atoning Savior of the world. That he taught, that he directed, that he organized his church. That he died upon the cross and was resurrected. Because of that resurrection and that atoning sacrifice, each of us shall be resurrected. That through him and of him and because of him we can return to our Father in Heaven and because of what we can accomplish and are able to accomplish in this life and the way that we live, we shall receive with him eternal life. Does not it tell us in the scriptures, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”(1 Corinthians 15:22) I believe that my brothers and sisters. May that testimony burn in our hearts and our lives to further us towards that goal which we have. I express to this family my love. They have had a great heritage from a lovely mother and a lovely father. May you remember that heritage. May you draw on the spirit and testimony which is there. May we as Pearl can say and as the Savior has said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful in little things, thou shalt be ruler over many. Enter now into the joy of your Lord.” May we recognize that this lovely lady has done all to make her worthy of that exaltation. May each of us live worthy of being with her. I bear my witness to that, praying God’s blessings upon you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Closing Hymn: “Whispering Hope” by Lervae & Joyce Cahoon
Benediction: Ronald Leavitt